A Consice History
Serbia Proper had won its liberty from the Turks and lived freely in its kingdom under the democratic rule of King Peter I Karadjordjevich and a most democratic president Nikola Pasic, who was at the helm. In the north, Srem, Banat, Backa and Baranja were still under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the south, Old Serbia and Macedonia were still under the Turks. None of these ruling powers wanted to see a free and united Serbia.
People living in the south were going through big and difficult political turmoils. First, the Albanians got together in the uprising against the Turks. While this rebellion was going on, the Bulgarian underground movements' purpose was to join this region with the Bulgarian state, brought to St. Elijah's Uprising (Ilindanski Ustanak) on July 20, 1903. Now the Albanians joined the Turks in their effort to crush this resistance. They burned more than 150 Serbian villages, looting and massacring the Serbian population everywhere. Serbs were not only put in prison but were expelled from their country to Asia Minor, tortured, even hanged. Thousands of women and children fled into the mountains to save their lives. They lived there in hiding, unprotected, with no food and without clothing. Help they needed badly, but where would it come from?